‘Best sea­son I could have asked for’

NKEC girls lose 1-0 at pro­vin­cial soc­cer fi­nals af­ter top sea­son

Annapolis Valley Register - - SPORTS - SARA ERIC­S­SON Sara.Eric­s­son@kingscountynews.ca

It was the best of sea­sons, end­ing just shy of vic­tory – North­east Kings’ girls soc­cer team came sec­ond at provin­cials Nov. 5 af­ter los­ing 1-0 to Bre­ton Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre.

The game’s first half was a dead­lock, with both teams giv­ing the game ev­ery­thing as they ran the ball across the field. BEC scored about halfway through the sec­ond half, and NKEC had sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties where they came close to scor­ing, but couldn’t get the ball in the net.

Af­ter the teams con­grat­u­lated each other on the hard-fought game, NKEC head coach Dale San­ford handed out medals. He took a mo­ment and spoke about how proud he was of the girls’ progress over the sea­son.

“I want to thank th­ese girls. Very young team, and I thought they com­peted very well against a very tough team to­day – all year, you guys have been noth­ing but an ab­so­lute bless­ing,” he said.

NKEC goal­tender Rachel Sheffield is one of the team’s three se­nior play­ers who will grad­u­ate this year. She and her team­mates shed some tears as they hugged fol­low­ing the game, but smiled through it.

She said it was a sea­son she will “never for­get,” and a great end to it all.

“Host­ing re­gion­als at home and win­ning, host­ing qual­i­fiers at home and win­ning that, to move to pro­vin­cial and host again – we could not have asked for bet­ter,” she said.

Fol­low­ing the game, San­ford gath­ered the girls for one last talk, wish­ing them luck in their fu­ture sport en­deav­ours and con­grat­u­lat­ing them on a sea­son well-played.

San­ford said the match came down to BEC just push­ing that much harder in the sec­ond half, and the match was made up of “truly the best two teams in the prov­ince.”

“They got one goal, and we didn’t get any, so they win – but it was a re­ally good game,” he said.

San­ford said the sea­son over­all ex­ceeded ev­ery­one’s ex­pec­ta­tions given the team’s young age, and ex­pects the girls to come back even stronger next year.

“Hon­estly, th­ese girls are just class – they rep­re­sent the school well, play with class and do it the right way, so I’m proud,” he said.

SARA ERIC­S­SON

The team fin­ished sec­ond over­all at provin­cials.

SARA ERIC­S­SON

Kennedy Brawn moves the ball up the field.

SARA ERIC­S­SON

Lau­ren Hain­stock sprints to beat BEC play­ers to the ball.

SARA ERIC­S­SON

Em­i­lie Ben­nett hus­tles to keep the ball in play.

SARA ERIC­S­SON

NKEC se­nior play­ers Mad­die Kil­lam, Rachel Sheffield and Mia Palmer were handed roses af­ter the game – their fi­nal with the school. “That was the best sea­son I could have ever asked for. Host­ing re­gion­als at home and win­ning, host­ing qual­i­fiers at home and win­ning that, to move to pro­vin­cial and host again – we could not have asked for bet­ter,” said Sheffield.

SARA ERIC­S­SON

Mad­die Kil­lam puts pres­sure on a BEC mid­field player.

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